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Mobile payments expected to become universal, but concerns remain

March 24, 2016

Over the last few years, many experts in the financial industry have said that there would be a point in the indeterminate future at which mobile payments become ubiquitous, to the point that almost everyone uses them on a regular basis to complete transactions.

Over the last few years, many experts in the financial industry have said that there would be a point in the indeterminate future at which mobile payments become ubiquitous, to the point that almost everyone uses them on a regular basis to complete transactions. Now, in the slightly more distant future, it seems that experts are setting their sights on these platforms to all but eradicate the use of the two most popular existing payment types.

A collection of nearly 1,700 tech experts and enthusiasts recently stated that they believe there will be a point in the next 15 years or so at which mobile payment methods become so secure that they effectively kill the use of cash and credit cards on a global level, according to a new study called The Future of Cybersecurity, from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Indeed, 45 percent believed that this would be the case as soon as 2020, while another 29 percent said it would happen by 2030.

Further, 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively, believed it would happen by 2035 and 2040 or later, the report said. Meanwhile, slightly fewer than 1 in 6 respondents didn’t think this would ever happen.

Mobile payments are expected to become more common in the very near future.Mobile payments are expected to become more common in the very near future.

Pressing concerns still linger
But when it comes to mobile payments, there are still some rather serious concerns about overcoming security issues that need to be addressed by platform and device developers before consumers will accept these types of transactions on a widespread basis, the report said. For instance, nearly half of respondents say they are still worried about hacking attacks that would expose payment data for people who use the systems.

Slightly fewer than 1 in 3, meanwhile, said that they remain primarily concerned that their use of a mobile payment system will open them up to unauthorized transactions being pushed through by the platform without their knowledge, the report said. Another 13 percent noted that they were worried about accidentally making a payment through a near-field communications or QR setup, while 8 percent thought getting a virus through a QR code was the biggest issue.

Hope for the future?
Meanwhile, though, 43 percent of respondents also said that continued efforts to improve cybersecurity would do more to address identity theft in particular, the report said. Another 29 percent said online anonymity would likely be the biggest target of future developments, while 19 percent said piracy was likely to be cut down. Finally, just 9 percent said new efforts in this area would reduce the effect of viruses.

While consumers remain very much concerned with the security of mobile platforms, it’s important to point out that they are already safer than traditional credit card transactions in a lot of ways. The sooner small businesses in particular can adopt these payment options for their customers, the better off both sides of the transaction are going to be as payment fraud is significantly reduced.

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